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Denver prosecutors drop domestic violence charges against NHL goalie

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) makes a save against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at Rexall Place. Perry Ne
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) makes a save against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at Rexall Place. Perry Ne

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - Prosecutors have dropped domestic violence charges against goaltender Semyon Varlamov of the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche because they cannot prove that he assaulted his girlfriend, the Denver District Attorney's Office said.

The Russian-born Varlamov, 25, was charged last month with misdemeanor third-degree assault after the woman told police the starting goalie for the NHL franchise had attacked her in the downtown Denver condominium the couple shared.

Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said authorities did not believe they prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

"There is no doubt she had injuries, but our investigators couldn't establish exactly how those injuries occurred," she said.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by Denver police, the woman said Varlamov kicked her in the chest, stomped on her and dragged her by the hair.

The woman, who is also Russian, had earlier told a friend that she feared Varlamov would assault her after he had been drinking, and he told her that "he would have beat her more" if they were still in Russia.

After his arrest, Varlamov's New York-based agent, Paul Theofanous, said in a statement that his client "is completely innocent of all of these charges."

Varlamov was free on a $5,000 bail while the case was pending, and was allowed to travel with the team under the conditions of his bond. He is expected to be named to his native country's national hockey team in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, which begin early next year.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and David Gregorio)

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